Getting Smarter through Language
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In very simple terms, the writing process has three main stages: (1) Think, (2) Write, and (3) Polish.
You need to define a topic and idea for writing first. If your idea is too narrow,
you will not have enough to write about. If your idea is too broad, it will become unmanageable (unless
you are trying to write a long book).
Once you have a well defined idea, the next step is to outline your work and start
writing your paragraphs. Each paragraph must be tied together coherently so that the reader
can have a clear picture of your ideas. The most common way to organize your paragraphs into a
whole is by writing an introductory paragraph, body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph.
“Polishing a ring.” Photo by Maksim Goncharenok.
Once you have a good first draft, it is time to improve it and clean it up.
First, you edit your work by focusing on substance; that is, you improve your ideas. Finally, you
go over your draft focus on the mechanics of writing and on style; that is, you edit your work for
writing, grammar, and punctuation problems.
Watch a video on YouTube for an overview
of the writing process. Take good study notes.
Following the above stages and steps may seem like a lot, but keep in mind that, again, writing is a process,
and processes take time. When you engage in the writing process (as opposed to “jumping right into it” haphazardly), you end up saving
time in the end because you work through your writing purposefully and methodically.
As you complete each step, you should keep your end goal in mind (whether it is a short blog post, an article,
or a college essay). At the same time, do not let the idea of having a final product intimidate you.
Definition. To intimidate means to make you feel timid, afraid, or uncomformatble (to do something).
When you think of a finished product as a whole, it may seem as though you will never get to the end.
That is another reason to follow the writing process; it breaks an enormous task down into more manageable task.
Keep an eye on the end goal, but focus on what you have right in front of you at each stage.